Saaksha and Kinni, the designer duo, are a PERFECT blend of the eastern and western fusion wear. Having designed embroidery swatches for brands such as Balmain, Ellie Saab, and Armani, the duo stepped into their own domain in the year 2016 introducing their label- Saakshi and Kinni.
The designers have much to express and talk about when it comes to fashion. I Knock Fashion interviewed the designers to dig into their world of fashion.
1. How did you get inclined towards fashion?
Fashion has always been a passion of ours – whether it was buying American Vogue from a young age or growing up on film sets staring at the larger than life costumes.
2. What makes Saaksha and Kinni the duo different?
We like to think that we celebrate traditional Indian prints in a very contemporary and global manner – thereby allowing women from all over the world to wear our prints in their day to day lives
3. From being in the industry for 8 years to now having your own label, what changes have you seen in your functioning as a duo?
Throughout the years, our relationship has remained the same whether it was before or after starting the label. Being sisters in law we were always close but starting a label together has invoked more trust, respect, and gratitude for one another.
We started the label in 2016 – a large inspiration was traveling all over the world and seeing the same solid shades being worn time and time again. We missed seeing color and print when stepping outside of India and wanted to somehow bring Indian culture to the world stage by making our traditional prints more accessible on a global scale.
5. Where all have you showcased, nationally, and internationally?
As of now, we have only showcased at Lakme Fashion Week
6. Is there a particular collection which is very close to your heart and why?
Our Gen-next Collection Ferox is particularly close to our hearts. It is the collection that landed us a coveted spot at fashion week and really catapulted us into the media’s glare.
7. You work more with Indian traditional prints and embroideries, so which all state’s fashion have you already explored and inculcated, and what is inspiring you next?
So far we have heavily focused on Gujarat – ikat prints and mirror and thread hand embroidery. Now we are focusing more on Rajasthan and Kashmir – with an emphasis on the stitches used there.
8. Milestones you would like to share about?
We won Grazia Young Fashion Awards in 2019 and Vogue Rising Stars in 2019. We also have a home base in a New York showroom and sell globally.
9. What is the specialty of your techniques and construction styles?
Our specialty is hand micro-pleating and is featured in many of our garments – kaftans, skirts, and dresses.
10. What changes do you feel the Indian Fashion industry should go through to make a better future?
The Indian Fashion industry still has a long way to go before it is unequivocally original. We as an industry are still taking too much inspiration from others – especially international ones when in reality so much talent and creativity lies within the younger less established designers.
11. Where all are your collection available?
Right now our collections are available in India, North America, Sri Lanka, and Thailand
12. Tell us about your experience of working with such reputed international brands like Balmain, Ellie Saab, and Armani?
Working with international design houses has taught us discipline, originality, and most importantly – how to stay relevant. They are constantly reinventing themselves and always try to improve collection after collection
13. What is your Vision for your label?
To stay relevant, honest and inspiring
14. If you had a chance to meet Karl Lagerfeld, what would you ask him?
His advice on how to stay relevant
15. Tell us about your luxe boho wear collection?
Arcus is inspired by the Indian states of Rajasthan and Gujarat – specifically the Leheriya, ikat, and acheda prints coupled with mirror embroidery, hand-embroidered tassels and thread work. The silhouettes are relaxed, fun, and easy-going.
16. Do you think it is important to venture into wedding wear or trousseau wear to survive in the Indian Market?
If your main market is within India then yes a sad reality is that to survive you have to cater to the wedding crowd in some form or the other. It is this market that has the spending power to carry you season to season
17. What fashion revolution are you planning to bring about through your label?
Celebrating India in a global manner
18. What message would you like to give to the students learning fashion today?
Understand what you are trying to evoke and communicate through your label before you even put pen to paper.